Several major swimming countries, including Spain and Sweden, have already unveiled their rosters for the 2016 European Aquatics Championships that will be held from May 9th-22nd, and even in the Olympic year, so far countries aren’t pulling any punches. Using the meet as a final Olympic tune-up, superstars like Mireia Belmonte and Sarah Sjostrom will both race in London, with more rosters to be named after more National Championship meets are concluded over the next week.
Meet organizers have unveiled the medals from the event that run counter in shape to the traditional flat, round medal, which they’ve called “Touch of Ginger” and are designed to emulate the iconic roof of the London Aquatics Center. See the photo of the medals above, and below read the organizers’ press release on the subject.
The London 2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships have today officially unveiled its truly unique medal design based on the iconic roof of the venue under which they will be won.
From May 9-22, over 900 of Europe’s best synchronised swimmers, divers and swimmers will battle for gold, silver and bronze in what is the last major aquatics championships before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Taking place at the London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the medals have been developed and produced by Cambridge design company Touch of Ginger and will share the same design DNA as the roof of the iconic venue.
Responsible for the 2015 Rugby World Cup medals, Touch of Ginger have ensured the fluid form of the roof will now be seen forever in the 192 gold, silver and bronze medals on offer at the Championships.
One man who is determined to get his hands on one of the 64 unique gold medals available is Hungarian Laszlo Cseh, the most decorated European swimmer in the Championships’ history with 12 titles under his belt.
London 2016 is set to be Cseh’s eighth appearance at the European Aquatics Championships and he is determined to add to a medal record which currently stands at 12 gold, three silver and four bronze.
He said: “Though my ultimate target is Rio this year, I definitely wish to be in a great shape for London. Once I race at the Europeans, which is an everlasting love for me, I want to achieve the best results possible so I’m really looking forward to being part of the show in London.
“I’m going for my 20th long-course European medal, preferably a gold, and it would be great to clinch it there. It’s also going to be a perfect opportunity to erase the bad memories from the 2012 Olympics and to gain some fantastic new experience which will help me to be in the shape of my life for Rio.”
Russian synchronised swimmer Natalia Ishchenko has nothing but good memories of the venue having won double gold at the 2012 Olympics, and alongside Svetlana Romashina, will reveal their new duet free routine on their return to London.
“We were very pleased to know that the upcoming European Championships will take place in London and what is more in the Olympic pool. It was a lucky venue for us in 2012.
“We have so many pleasant associations with the place. At the same time the Europeans will be an important start before Rio 2016. As for our duet with Svetlana Romashina, we are going to present our new free routine. We hope we’ll succeed.”
The Championships are set to be the biggest event held at the London Aquatics Centre since London 2012 and Britain’s history-making double world-bronze medallist Jack Laugher cannot wait.
He said: “The European Championships are a massive competition and it is really good to be competing at that level before the Olympics. It is really good to get those competitions in for the experience.
“It makes you feel good when you are competing in front of a crowd so I am really looking forward to the European Championships. I love the London Aquatics Centre, it is one of my favourite pools and hopefully a really great atmosphere will make everyone on the British team dive well.”
The London 2016 European Aquatics Championships will be delivered in partnership with British Swimming, London & Partners, London Legacy Development Corporation and the Mayor of London. The Championship is part of UK Sport’s National Lottery backed #EveryRoadtoRio campaign, helping Britain’s athletes prepare for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.